Last week, Microsoft announced the availability of Lync 2010, the latest release of its “converged communications platform” – essentially, the next generation of Microsoft’s Office Communications Server (OCS 2007).
What does Lync 2010 do? It leverages the power of software to make communications easier, more open, and more cost-effective for businesses of all sizes.
Today’s new generation of workers, in particular, will find Lync 2010’s “click-to-communicate” capability more accommodating to their unique communication and collaboration habits, which are somewhat different from those of us old timers (say, over the age of 35), who gravitate toward email. Undoubtedly, all workers will find great value in rapid access to experts, peers and decision makers – one of the key features of Lync 2010.
By offering users a single communications platform that integrates instant messaging, presence, audio, video and Web conferencing, Lync 2010 streamlines worker productivity in so many ways, promoting significant business value. For corporate environments, Lync offers a complete enterprise voice communications solution with an unparalleled out-of-the-box experience when used in conjunction with other Microsoft products such as SharePoint, Exchange and Office. I really like how it works with SharePoint 2010 and Exchange Server 2010.
Microsoft has high hopes for Lync 2010, expecting it to benefit not only employees but also the corporate bottom line and the corporate carbon footprint. Forrester Consulting recently published a Total Economic Impact report, which looked at 12 current Microsoft customers and how they are using Lync Server 2010. Drawing upon data from the 12 companies, Forrester developed a composite case study company and then ran the numbers on a costs/benefits analysis for that company. It found that Lync 2010 offers customers a three-year, risk-adjusted return on investment (ROI) of 332 percent; the payback period is only 12.4 months. Not bad.
After reading the Forrester report, it’s clear to me just how Lync 2010 can save customers big bucks by reducing travel costs, long distance charges, help desk labor costs and teleconferencing/Web conferencing fees — all while generating increased worker productivity and flexibility, which is quantifiable on multiple levels and potentially worth millions to an organization.
What are your thoughts on Lync? I’d love to hear them.
Jay Atkinson is CEO of AIS Network.